Letter from the Editor
Art by Kirsten Hemrich
Let's talk about spirit. In 1991, Nirvana reminded us that it “Smells like Teen Spirit” and since then things have never been the same. Actually, I’m not really sure if that song changed how society viewed spirit, especially because the song wasn’t particularly spirited, just really angsty, but nevertheless, still a bop. But let’s get back to spirit. Spirits, spirituality, team spirit, the spirit of who we once were and the spirit of who we hope to be. October is an incredibly haunting month. It can be a time to reflect on aspects of spirituality that aren’t as prevalent during the rest of the year, or it can be a time to change our own spirit when it comes to how we approach unfamiliar circumstances. However we see this spirit, it presents a new opportunity to define the things we cannot see and challenge attitudes that work against us.
In Bel Banta's piece, we see the spirit of a hypochondriac, the spirit that overwhelms us with anxiety and self-doubt, calling into question our own mental and physical health. Elizabeth Bangura recalls moments from her past that haunt her to this day, things that can seem so small to some people but can be carried around by others for the rest of their lives. Maeve Hayden reminds us that team spirit is not always inclusive, and can often be gendered, asking if men and women are on an equal playing field when it comes to participating in the spirit of sportsmanship. We face our own fears when we read Laura Hinnenkamp’s piece describing her abhorrence for horror films and her own need to control every aspect of her movie-viewing experience just to feel autonomy in even the small aspects of her life. The Good Ol’ Song gets a rewrite from Sierra Loudermilk, challenging the very ideals and Virginian spirit upon which this university was founded. And finally, Marwah Shuaib takes us to Karachi, Pakistan in a colorful, tapestry-like piece about a day in the life of this spirited city.
Spirit. More than just a one-star airline that “dropped the ball big time,” according to Hugo Donis on October 8, 2018. Ambiguous, ethereal, deceptive, emotional, and challenging. Spirit is what keeps us going, what drives us to do more and seek a truer sense of self than the one other people have prescribed for us. It allows us to keep moving forward when every thing seems to work against us, and puts a fire in our step when we need it the most. So, in October, I will walk into Trader Joe’s, purchase every item with the label “Pumpkin Spice,”and leave that store with the most spirit I have had all year. For the culture, of course.